There is a little-known secret in the world of microwave ovens that even the manufacturers don’t want to tell you in their manuals. And once you know it, you’ll never go back to using your microwave like you used to.
Some microwave owners invented this “hack” themselves through acute observation of certain foods or liquids they were destroying, but you’ll never see it in the fine print of the device’s documentation. I should know as I’ve looked at over 50 manuals for various microwaves available in the US and haven’t seen it in any of them.
So what’s the secret everyone should know?
Okay, so what? Why is this so important?
Why 10 seconds is important for your microwave
If you follow the food preparation directions on a food package, you will not really notice the rotation speed. That’s because a microwave dinner or similar meal or snack can have a large tray or plate on which you place the food. When you put it in, it will likely move to the center or almost center of the glass turntable, so there isn’t much of a change from the time you insert it to the time you take it out.
Seeing the rotations per minute in action for your microwave’s carousel is most evident when reheating drinks in cups or mugs. If someone puts a mug of water or coffee right in front, between the center and the edge of the turntable, it will end up in the back of the microwave after 15 or 25 seconds, harder to reach.
Use heating times that end with 0 or 5
When you know it will take 10 seconds, you can start thinking about reheating food and drinks in multiples of 10 or intervals of 10 seconds plus or minus 5 seconds.
- If you want the item being heated up to return to where you put it, make sure your time ends at zero (10, 20, 30, 40, etc.).
- Make sure to end the seconds with a 5 (5, 15, 25, 35, 45, etc.) to end it on the other side of the microwave cavity.
Suppose you are heating water for tea or coffee heating. To make it easier to take it out and less likely to burn your hand or fingers, place the mug in the front with the handle facing you and use 20, 30, 40 or any other number that ends with zero. The mug should come back with the handle facing you, which is the coldest part of the mug and therefore the safest to touch.
On the other hand, you can place the mug in the back with the handle facing away from you and use a time ending at 5 to heat it up. It will return forward with the lever in your direction.
For example, I found that heating up my toddler’s milk for 30 seconds was too cold for her, while 40 seconds was too warm. So when I heat the mug I use 35 seconds. If the mug starts in the back with the handle facing back, it ends up front with the handle facing me. While 35 seconds doesn’t necessarily make the mug too hot to touch, it’s more convenient to grab it by the handle to pour it directly into her cup.
You can also place a mug in the center of the turntable (not the best place to cook evenly) with the handle facing away from you or facing you, then microwave for 5 or 0 seconds to move the handle towards you respectively. let point.
So, do microwave oven manufacturers have an unwritten rule that each full revolution should take 10 seconds? No, but they use similar parts.
The turntable motor determines the speed
Chances are, the synchronous motor driving your microwave’s turntable is rated at 5 to 6 revolutions per minute at 50 or 60 hertz (cycles per second). This is not a specification provided by your microwave manufacturer, but it is clear when you consider the many replacement motors available online for repairs.
In the US, power plants use 60 Hz as the nominal line frequency for the alternating current (AC) power that you use in your home. So the motor would use 6 rpm, and 60 seconds divided by 6 revs is 10 second intervals.
If you’re not in the US, your region’s grid frequency could be 50 Hz, which then uses 5 rpm, and that doesn’t follow the rule for numbers ending in zero or 5. One full rotation is 12 seconds, so you should think in terms of 6 second intervals for full (12, 24, 36, etc.) or half rotations (6, 18, 30, etc.).
However, some microwaves do not use the 5-6 speed motors.
For example, some GE microwave ovens use motors rated at 3 rpm at 60 Hz. That’s half as slow as 6 revolutions per minute, so a full rotation of the turntable takes 20 seconds, not 10. Instead of using numbers ending in zero or 5 to time things correctly, you would just alternate multiples of Using 10, where 10, 30, 50 seconds puts items opposite where they were placed and 20, 40, 60 seconds to return items to the same spot.
Some microwave ovens also use motors with 10 rpm at 60 Hz, but this is not common.
Most microwaves in the US follow the rule where times ending in zero are one full rotation and times ending in 5 half rotations. But it all depends on what motor your appliance uses for the glass plate that spins your food and drinks. If you can find out the power of the motor, you can calculate the number of revolutions per minute. If not, you can at least run some tests to determine the rotational speed.
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